Access to Justice Index

Justice should not depend on the serendipity of where you live.
Performance measurement can help improve justice everywhere.

The Access to Justice Index is the Center’s model for improving the quality of justice in our society through the use of performance measurement. This new web-based system, currently under development, will gather and present data showing the extent to which each of our 50 state justice systems succeeds in assuring access to all. 


Public institutions function best when people understand how they operate, when the performance of these institutions can be evaluated, and when analogous institutions can be compared with one another. These aspects of transparency are particularly important for courts, which rely on the public’s faith for their very existence.  By setting benchmarks, identifying best practices, and publishing policies and data, the Access to Justice Index will help to empower judges, court administrators, and other government officials, journalists, academics and activists in their respective efforts to improve our justice system. 

Topics covered

The Access to Justice Index will focus on six aspects of the judicial system that are essential to assuring access to justice: 

  1. Number of lawyers available to provide legal representation to financially eligible persons in civil cases
  2. Competent representation in a criminal case
  3. A neutral, competent and adequately funded judiciary
  4. Access for people with limited proficiency in English
  5. Access for people with disabilities
  6. Access regardless of gender, race or ethnicity


NCAJ is creating the Index with the pro bono help of Pfizer Inc., the Pfizer Legal Alliance of 15 law firms, Deloitte, and MSDS.  Teams of pro bono researchers at Skadden Arps law firm, a member of the Pfizer Legal Alliance, have had a primary role in carrying out research to build the Index. Additionally, law students at Cardozo School of Law and Pennsylvania School of Law have helped to carry out the necessary research.  Staff at UBS Corp., also serving pro bono, have also helped to build the Index.

Press, Blogs & Reports

5 Responses to “Access to Justice Index”
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  1. […] I am delighted to be able to post the excellent instruments used in the Brooklyn Family Court SRL observational study, which is part of the Justice Index Project of the National Center for Access to Justice. […]

  2. […] to Justice” David Udell and James Gamble from the National Center for Access to Justice and the Access to Justice Index Project previewed this site, which measures access to justice on several axis, and makes sense of […]

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